Your 10-week plan to your new home

Your 10-week plan to your new home

Want to buy your first home but don’t have all the time in the world?

Follow our nifty 10-week plan and you’ll be scaling the property ladder this season.

Week 1

Talk to your bank, immediately. If you need finance to buy your home it’s crucial you secure pre-purchase approval before taking a seat at the property deal-making table.

If you get no love dealing directly with lenders, talk to a mortgage broker.

They will usually ask how much deposit you have saved, how much you earn and how much you owe. Based on that they can then tell you how much you can borrow, guide you through the application process with potential lenders and often fast-track the pre-approval process (invaluable if time is tight).


Week 2

Great news – you’ve heard back from your broker and your application has been pre-approved. So it is time to start researching your home purchase with serious intent because you can now make offers with confidence you’ve got the dollars to close the sale.

Also, line up a legal representative – a solicitor with property conveyancing knowledge – who can review your contracts before you sign.


Week 3

Let’s assume you’ve already been watching the real estate market for some months, building a treasure chest of invaluable knowledge on what you want, where, how much it costs and how the sale process works.

Spend this week meticulously scouring online listings in the suburbs and price ranges you’ve targeted.

Also jump on the phone and call local agents, because quite often they will tip you off to new listings that have not yet gone public.

Set to work researching comparable sale prices from the past six months. Our Price Lookup page is a golden resource for home buyers as it provides price estimates and sales history for any property in Australia – even those that aren’t on the market.

And get out there to open houses and auctions this week. If you see something of interest, considering making an offer.

Just remember auction sales are unconditional and private sales are not, meaning you can ask for ‘subject to finance’ and ‘pest and building inspection’ conditions etc.


Week 4

If you haven’t already found your perfect home, or if negotiations have stalled, don’t stop scouring the market this week. And keep checking out new listings via inspections.

As they say in real estate land, if you miss out on one there are always 10 more great properties just



Week 5

You’ve whittled it down to a prospective home that suits your needs and falls inside your pre-approved budget.

You decide to make a legally binding offer, which must be in writing on a Contract of Sale for the vendor to take it seriously.

Remember, it’s not a sale until the vendor accepts your offer by counter-signing and you may still need to negotiate on price to secure the deal.



Week 6

The agent has just called and the vendor has accepted your offer even with any conditions you may have placed on it.

Remember any subject-to-finance conditions will enable your bank to approve your selection of property and give it time to conduct its own valuation.

On agreement you’ll also be asked to pay your initial deposit on the home to the agent, who deposits it in a trust account until the home’s settlement.


Week 7

This week there’ll be lots phone calls and emails and get your signing hand warmed up.

If you haven’t already – and you should do it as soon as your contractual offer was accepted – you should arrange building insurance to protect your new asset.

If you will need a removalist or need to hire a truck and DIY, use this week to start arranging the details.

Also use this week to connect your electricity and gas. Utility companies need time to organise connections so get on top of this before you move.


Week 8

As this week begins, things are pretty quiet on the legal and bank front.

Your legal team will be busy conducting title searches to make sure your home has a clean title and your bank will be busy getting all your settlement funds ready for the big settlement day.

You should hear from your broker/bank and learn that your valuation came back as expected and your home loan is now unconditional.

This is extremely important news. It means your purchase has the green-light from a funding point of view.



Week 9

So now you’re a definite yes for your new home it’s time to shout it from the rooftops. Or, more importantly, let relevant parties know of your new address. Organise to have your mail redirected, and be sure to cancel any services specific to your current property.

How is that packing going?

Old hands say it is a good idea to put aside a clearly marked ‘moving day’ box so you are not sifting through boxes on move day searching for your fluffy slippers.

It should include all the basics you will need for your first 24-48 hours as a new home occupant.

Suggestions include:

  • Toilet paper/soap
  • Toiletries
  • PJs
  • Some basic cutlery
  • A few cups/mugs
  • A bath towel
  • A change of clothes/shoes
  • Matches/candles/torch
  • Home delivery pamphlets
  • Wine glasses/beer holders



Week 10

Settlement day has arrived.

Your legal representative and the selling agent will phone with the good news when everything is done.

You are now the proud owner of your new home and can collect its keys and move in.



1st week – Get money pre-approved

2nd week – Line-up legal rep/inspect-to-buy

3rd week – Hit the phone/make written offers if you see suitable homes

4th week – Keep inspecting/bid at auctions and make written offers

5th week – Another week of negotiations if needed

6th week – Contract offer accepted/pay deposit

7th week – Organise insurance/connections/removalists and/or packing boxes

8th week – Start packing/contract goes unconditional

9th week – Complete your packing/inform relevant parties of your new address

10th week – Settlement day/collect keys/move in